In the airplane from Atlanta to Seoul, I watched a Jane Austen movie called Sense and Sensibility. I felt myself challenged in so many ways, relating to the characters and yet getting frustrated because I could see their downfalls so clearly.
If you haven’t seen the movie, let me break it down for you:
main characters are two sisters (sound familiar?) and one is younger and outgoing, and the other is older and much more reserved.
Obviously I related with the younger sister, passionate, less concerned with propriety, a little on the eager side of things. She expressed her belief on love being a burning, fiery thing. She quickly gave her heart away, and spent most of the movie heartbroken, sopping wet from standing in the rain dramatically, or on a bed/reclining. Yikes.
Meanwhile, the “put together” character, who suppressed her emotions was the older sister. The girl saved face, kept secrets, kept her mouth shut, and did what all “younger sisters” of the world wish they could do: restrain emotions.
She constantly took care of her younger sister, made educated decisions, and interacted with people who talked about the man she loved, including the gal he was engaged to. Girl barely flinched! Utmost display of womanly poise.
I don’t know how to do that. I’m very much like the sister who gets escorted out of ballrooms, writes 15 letters, and wails dramatically, standing in the rain, reciting Shakespeare in front of the dude’s castle. I can’t fake it. All or nothing!
Yet, here is the spoiler alert: their situations flip flop at the end.
Big sis finds out her love is single and not married, instantly begins to ugly cry like never before, gets proposed to (snot and all) and becomes a giddy gal. Wait what?!
Little sis gets all somber, quiets down, and marries Professor Snape, who loves HER so much. I don’t know if she loved him with crazy passion, though! Not like the jerk guy she fell for first, who got engaged to someone else for money and got a third gal pregnant. Sheesh. I thought she’d be a Hufflepuff, but I guess not.
I sit in the airplane and wonder if I’d ever marry a Snape. Would my passion ever simmer down like that? Is that sensible or senseless? Or would I ever learn to restrain like the older sister, and be poised and composed and proper? That’s a verbal processor’s nightmare, keeping so much to myself.
Both women went through intense, excruciating pain. They handled it differently, yet both got the desired happy ending of any Jane Austen flick: marriage. They forgave instantly, and seemed to have a sense of desperation to find a man or marry well. The men kept going out of town, communicating poorly, leaving them hanging, confused. Yet this seemed to be excused the minute they’d roll into town. Ohhhh, a man! Quickly, pinch my cheeks, help me take off this apron, ooohhhh.
And I’m over here like…
I felt challenged because I was judging the women. They had no means, had to be fully dependent on men to provide, and to me that seemed weak.
What’s wrong with letting a man provide fully? I found that it’s a mix of pride and fear. Pride that I’d want to stay on my feet, take care of myself. Fear that someone wouldn’t provide for me, that I’d be a burden. Both things are taken care of by Jesus. Hey, heart check!
Passion and composure. What’s the best balance? You tell me.